-“Can I get you a drink?”
-“No thank you. I don’t want to accept a drink from you, because then I would be obliged to purchase one for you in return, and I’m afraid I’m simply not interested in spending two drinks’ worth of time with you.”
Title: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel
Publisher: Penguin Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Length: 352 Pages
Eleanor Oliphant is one of my favorite characters in fiction. She’s awkward, obnoxious, blunt and prefers to be left alone so she may stick to her daily routine. Relatable stuff here. I cannot say how many times her own clumsiness got a laugh out of me or the amount of times her embarrassing antics made me cringe. She was someone I cared about throughout the story because she was so much like me.
With coworkers that dislike and demean her, no friends, a mother that talks down to her during their mandatory Wednesday phone calls, and a mysterious scar on her face, Eleanor marches through life seemingly unfazed. But is that true? All of this would surely be enough to break a person down especially after hearing the way their own mother treats them.
But on one faithful day, Eleanor meets the IT guy at her office named Raymond and while he is more than willing to befriend her, she initially wants nothing to do with him.
During a walk, the two of them help an elderly man passed out on the street and later learn more about him and his life. We, the audience, see Eleanor slowly change as she ventures out her bubble and learn to open her heart. But the more we learn about her, the darker the novel becomes…
Gail Honeyman is careful balancing out the tone of her story making us feel for poor Eleanor. That’s another thing we can learn from reading this novel: empathy. The more pages I turned, the more I wanted for Eleanor to be happy as I truly cared for this character.
I highly recommend giving this a read and I assure that it will not be a waste of time. It’s fun, silly, serious, heartbreaking and a lot more.